I'll tell you what got me from the Couch to a Half Marathon:
a free podcast called "Podrunner."
I started with their Couch to 5K program, which is a 10-week program of intervals, gradually increasing to a full 35-minute run. After that, they have an 8-K and a 10K program, which also increase the speed you're running (or walking) at.
Besides the 5k, 8k, and 10k programs, they also have "Begintervals" which is basically speed training in intervals.
The only way to get faster is to run faster, so the interval training podcasts are great for that.
The only way to build distance is to ... yep, add distance :) So the 8k and 10k programs are great for that, or just challenge yourself to run 5 more minutes each week, or whatever your goal is.
I'm relatively new to this and I'm taking a very conservative approach to training, so I only added distance increases of 10% each week. This spring/summer, I did a 13-weeks to 13 miles program in 26 weeks, just doing half the distance increase each week.
I had asked other people which was better -- to run longer or to run faster -- and most people told me BOTH! They suggested I spend one running day on speed training, and another on a "long run," trying to add distance each week. That works for me.
What I noticed is that my 5k time got noticeably better over the late summer/early fall, but now that my races are cold-weather, my time is decreasing. I suppose that's because I'm not as efficient an exerciser in cold weather just yet.
Hope this helps!
Edited by: AMANDANCES at: 10/29/2013 (08:57)
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